[JURIST] A report [DOC; press release] released Sunday by Israeli human rights groups B'Tselem and the HaMoked Centre for the Defence of the Individual [advocacy websites] says that the members of the Israeli security services routinely maltreat Palestinian detainees during interrogations and in some cases even "torture" them, as that term is defined by international law. The report was based on a survey of 73 Palestinian residents of the West Bank who were arrested between July 2005 and January 2006 and interrogated by the Israeli Security Agency . Sixty-six percent of them reported they had been subjected to "beatings, painful binding, swearing, humiliation and denial of basic needs" in the time between their arrest and their incarceration. "Ticking bombs" believed to have critical that could percent attacks were treated most harshly, and were subjected to extensive sleep deprivation and physical abuses. The joint report additionally concluded that Israel's "State Attorney's Office covers up these illegal acts, thereby assisting in the breach of international law and of High Court of Justice's prohibitions."
Israel's Ministry of Justice [official website, in Hebrew] issued a statement Sunday saying that the rights survey was based on a limited sample and contained errors and misinformation. B'Tselem acknowledged that it was "not a representative sample", but insisted that "it does provide a valid indication of the frequency of the reported phenomena." AFP has more.